Weeknote 4 (2021)

I don’t have much that I can report in this week’s note. You are just going to have to take my word that this week, a large amount of my time was spent at meetings pertaining to my library department, my union, and anti-black racism work.


Last year, around this same time, some colleagues from the University and I organized an speaking event called Safer Communities in a ‘Smart Tech’ World:

We need to talk about Amazon Ring in Windsor.

Windsor’s Mayor proposes we be the first city in Canada to buy into the Ring Network.

As residents of Windsor, we have concerns with this potential project. Seeing no venue for residents of Windsor to share their fears of surveillance and loss of privacy through this private-partnership, we hosted an evening of talks on January 22nd, 2020 at The Performance Hall at the University of Windsor’s School of Creative Arts Windsor Armories Building. Our keynote speaker was Chris Gilliard, heard recently on CBC’s Spark.

Since that evening, we have been in the media raising our concerns, asking questions, and encouraging others to do the same.

The City of Windsor has yet to have entered an agreement with Amazon Ring. This is good news.

This week, the City of Windsor announced that it has entered a one-year deal partnership with Ford Mobility Canada to share data and insights via Ford’s Safety Insights platform.

I don’t think this is good news for reasons outlined in this post called Safety Insights, Data Privacy, and Spatial Justice.


This week I learned a neat Tweetdeck hack. If set up a search as column, you can limit the results for that term using the number of ‘engagements’:



I haven’t read this but I have it bookmarked for potential future reference: The weaponization of web archives: Data craft and COVID-19 publics:

An unprecedented volume of harmful health misinformation linked to the coronavirus pandemic has led to the appearance of misinformation tactics that leverage web archives in order to evade content moderation on social media platforms. Here we present newly identified manipulation techniques designed to maximize the value, longevity, and spread of harmful and non-factual content across social media using provenance information from web archives and social media analytics. After identifying conspiracy content that has been archived by human actors with the Wayback Machine, we report on user patterns of “screensampling,” where images of archived misinformation are spread via social platforms. We argue that archived web resources from the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine and subsequent screenshots contribute to the COVID-19 “misinfodemic” in platforms. Understanding these manipulation tactics that use sources from web archives reveals something vexing about information practices during pandemics—the desire to access reliable information even after it has been moderated and fact-checked, for some individuals, will give health misinformation and conspiracy theories more traction because it has been labeled as specious content by platforms.


I’m going to leave this tweet here because I might pick up this thread in the future:

This reminds me of a talk given in 2018 by Data & Society Founder and President, danah boyd called You Think You Want Media Literacy… Do You?

This essay still haunts me, largely because we still don’t have good answers for the questions that Dr. Boyd asks of us and the stakes have only gotten higher.

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